A Travellerspoint blog

Temple of Heaven

and the surrounding park.

Hello,

Yesterday, my friends and I took a trip to the Temple of Heaven for some sight seeing. The temple was nice, but not too exciting, kind of because it looked a whole lot like the Forbidden City -- So I really didn't have much to take pictures of... Architecturally anyway. I was in a people picture mood.

As soon as we walked through the gates and down the entrance path, the first thing we saw were two older ladies dancing to some music played by some of the other locals.

dancer2.jpg
dancer1.jpg

We passed over to the other side of the wall you see in the pictures above, there were 6 or 7 groups of people doing the same thing. Dancing and playing music, which is way cooler than what people do in American parks.

Further down into the park were groups and groups of people playing games like hacky-sack with a feather type ball and and drummer and this little girl.

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Apparently, the Temple of Heaven park is the place to go to hang out on the weekends for the more traditional locals.
I must admit, I think I'm going to make it out again and play some games (as soon as my ankle gets better).

Again, the temple--as much as I hate to say it--Wasn't too spectacular after being to the Forbidden City. So, there isn't too much to show there. But, here are a few pics:

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Oh, and some Germans too, can't ya tell?

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I like the tour groups in China, the matching hats 'n' all.

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We came across another group of people dancing and playing harmonicas and such, this time the dancers were wearing some traditional looking dress. And this guy at a restaurant, he looked neat.

harmonica_dance.jpg
lady_man_dance.jpg
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traditional_dress.jpg

Adorable kids:
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bubbleboy.jpg

Posted by Tims.Travels 21:57 Comments (1)

First day of class

I have to go to my first class today. I think it is like an orientation class and then the real stuff starts Monday. I've somehow managed to injure my ankle and have been trying to rest it a bit, so I haven't been out much lately. Hence the lack of pictures and updates.

I'll let you know how everything goes.

Posted by Tims.Travels 18:01 Comments (0)

Forbidden City / Imperial City

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Audrey and Natalia
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Posted by Tims.Travels 14:53 Comments (0)

Yesterday (cont)

Okay, I am awake and I was invited to eat some home cooked korean breakfast thanks to Hyungjin. It consisted of white rice (of course), some red vegetable stew, and a fried egg each. Quite delicious!

Alrighty, I left off at Guo Mao, the China World Mall. When I was returning home on the subway a very nice stranger tried talking to me. I got as far as asking his name, giving him mine, and kinda-sorta saying "Nice to meet you". Never the less, he kept trying to talk and as always I felt bad because I just had to shake me head, smile, and shrug. Actually, "Ting bu dong" (thats not in characters of course), means "I don't understand", so I said that too. I shook his hand when I left the subway and he told me "Good luck" in english.

On the way back to my room I passed by a blind, homeless musician (The things you see in Chinese movies actually have a lot of truth to them). I dropped some money in his can -- it would be a good picture, but I don't want to be rude.

Alrighty, I've made it back to school and I promised to help Natalia set up her internet splitter for her room. Mission accomplished! I helped her with that and she told me about Argentina and her family. She gave me a Snickers bar from Mongolia as a reward, which I might save to bring home and show you guys! Or I'll eat it when I get tempted :)

The good news is I'm losing weight here. Its easy to when you have to make every trip out to eat an adventure. I also try to stick to vege's and chicken.. But not last night...

Natalia invited Audrey and I to her friends birthday celebration and of course we accepted. Right after Nati's (Natalia's nickname) room, I went up to Audrey's and helped her roommate set up her router as well. Mission Accomplished!

At 5 we met Nati and 3 other latino girls. Kind of funny that I was hearing Spanish all night, just like home!! I met Natalie, Isabelle, and Pamela. Natalie was from Peru, Isabelle was Guatemalan (I think I might be wrong though), and Pamela is from Bolivia. All very nice of course. Isabelle spoke little english but was very nice none the less. The birthday girl was named Angela and we all went off to meet her at the Thai restaurant that she requested. A long trip on the subway later and we are in the middle of the city near the foreign people's area, as its known. Pretty amazing place at night, I believe Audrey got pictures so I think I'll ask her if I can post some here. When we arrived, like I said in the last post (refer to the link there) -- I was blown away by this place. Incredible! You would spend a hundred bucks a meal in America for a place like this. When we got inside we were introduced to Angela, who ironically was Chinese from Guatemala (again, I might be wrong about the country). But, she spoke English incredibly well, as well as Spanish (which was her first language), and Chinese. I ordered Tom Kha Gai soup of course, which is coconut milk soup. I also ordered Thai Iced Tea as always (which also has coconut milk <3 ) and for my main course I got Indian Lamb Curry.... Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. We all collectively paid for Angela and I slipped off to find the MaƮtre d' to ask if he could make something special for the birthday girl. He was a 6'5" half Swedish, half Vietnamese guy who spoke Spanish as well -- we were all pleasantly surprised by that. Mission Success! He had the head lady (another overseer type person) make up a heart shaped dessert with a candle (coconut! woohoo!). My total was 120RMB, which is like $17... I love food here.

We left to restaurant initially planning to go to a Karaoke bar. We hit the subway to head back towards the school and the bar and coincidentally met two cute Chinese girls from school, their English names we Sally and Jackie. We talked to them for a long time and they walked back with us to campus, where we met a German guy named Felix who was also very nice (of course). At that point, I realized I was exhausted, so I said my goodbyes and went off to update the previous entry. So there we are!

I'm doing some real sight seeing tomorrow, real pictures of real Chinese history coming soon.

Oh, I'll get some pics of my dorm, the school, and my friends up soon too.

Today is a new adventure, bye bye

Posted by Tims.Travels 17:26 Comments (0)

Incredible Day

(No Pictures, sorry!)

Well, today was an eventful day. I fell asleep at 8pm last night and woke up at 4:30am and started the day from there. Hyungjin and I went out at about 7 or so to buy some food from the street vendors outside the school, some food from the vendors costs less than a penny USD, literally. I'm not quite sure how one could survive off of an income like that -- but it seems that they manage. We ended up buying some interesting hot dog pastries from the local bakery instead, which were actually quite good.

Once I ate breakfast I set out for the subway on my own for the first time. Once again, I went the wrong direction first, lol. Its a bit tough to read characters still. Actually, its near impossible.

Rock Woo just walked in the door. He's another nice Korean friend, he's fluent in Chinese as well -- so he has helped me and Hyungjin out a lot (just like everyone seems to).

Anyway, I got myself redirected on the subway and headed off towards Guo Mao, which means "World Mall", I think... Its right under the China World Trade Center and the most incredible looking hotel I have ever seen. I think the lobby had elephant statues made out of full ivory -- which I do not really like at all, but it may give you an idea of how expensive and fancy this place looked. Must have been a 5 star place, none the less. Oh, by the way, the initial reason I headed out for Guo Mao was too withdrawal the 7,500 RMB I need for class. Well, it took me about 2 hours to get to the mall and find the bank. When I got there, the first thing the lady at the bank asked me was for my passport.... D'oh! I forgot it at school.... So, I decided to treat myself to some Taiwanese food at a fancy restaurant which cost me about $10 USD for a dish of some sort of chicken and mushrooms, some incredible honey green tea, and service like I was royalty. They have a lady that seems to be the overseer or sorts. She made sure that I was treated perfectly. Again, how can I not tip?? I've been told that almost all wait-persons (to be politically correct) will reject tipping.

Okay, it is 10:26pm right now, I've been awake and very busy all day... So I am going to cut this short and leave the most interesting stuff out until tomorrow morning -- I met maybe 8 new people this evening and ate at one of the nicest restaurants I have ever been in -- and of course, I paid a total of about $18USD for a $100+ meal.

Here is a photo of the restaurant I found on google:

http://files3.cityweekend.com.cn/files/images/20070711/image-20070711-ty7f0fk4a419sgixts4z_t_h480.jpg

Posted by Tims.Travels 06:05 Comments (0)

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